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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061926515
  • ASIN: B0055X49KY
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining if predictable sequel to Executive Privilege (2008) from Margolin, policewoman Sarah Woodruff, who's on death row in Oregon, has been tried twice for murdering her lover, John Finley. Sarah's life depends on an appeal to the Supreme Court, but her appeal, if heard, could expose a criminal plot within the CIA. An unexpected vacancy in the court provides one opportunity to quash Woodruff's attempted appeal. For the man at the center of the plot, however, this isn't enough, and a Supreme Court justice becomes a target for assassination. Once again PI Dana Cutler and law clerk Brad Miller find themselves investigating dastardly doings in Washington, D.C., involving a host of conventional characters, from scheming Beltway sachems to a ghetto-raised African-American justice. Thriller fans who like to see the villains receive their just rewards and the good guys come to no harm will find this a comforting read. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Margolin is usually a sure thing, but this sequel to Executive Privilege (2008) is surprisingly weak. Brad Miller, the lawyer who played a key role in bringing down the U.S. president, is now a clerk for a Supreme Court justice. When seemingly unprovoked attacks on two justices appear to be connected to a pending death-row appeal, Brad and several other characters from the preceding novel race against time to get to the truth. For a debut novelist, this would be an adequate first effort. For a genre veteran like Margolin, it reads like a rough draft: thin characters, dialogue that is frequently stilted, and major structural problems (including a flashback sequence, located in the middle of the book, that amounts to a full third of the novel’s length). Devoted fans will look past the novel’s many flaws to enjoy the intricate story, but this is a far cry from Margolin’s excellent early novels, including Gone, but Not Forgotten (1993) and After Dark (1995). --David Pitt

More About the Author

I grew up in New York City and Levittown, New York. In 1965, I graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in government. I spent 1965 to 1967 in Liberia, West Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer, graduated from New York University School of Law in 1970 as a night student. I went nights and worked as a junior high teacher in the South Bronx to support myself. My first job following law school was a clerkship with Herbert M. Schwab, the chief judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, and from 1972 until 1996, I was in private practice, specializing in criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels. As an appellate attorney I have appeared before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court, and the Oregon Court of Appeals. As a trial attorney, I handled all sorts of criminal cases in state and federal court, and have represented approximately thirty people charged with homicide, several of whom faced the death penalty. I was the first Oregon attorney to use battered women's syndrome to defend a woman accused of murdering her spouse.

Since 1996, I have been writing full-time. All of my novels have been bestsellers. Heartstone, my first novel, was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar for best original paperback mystery of 1978. My second novel, The Last Innocent Man, was made into an HBO movie. Gone, But Not Forgotten has been sold to more than twenty-five foreign publishers and was made into a miniseries starring Brooke Shields. It was also the Main Selection of the Literary Guild. After Dark was a Book of the Month Club selection. The Burning Man, my fifth novel, published in August 1996, was the Main Selection of the Literary Guild and a Reader's Digest condensed book. My sixth novel, The Undertaker's Widow, was published in 1998 and was a Book of the Month Club selection. Wild Justice (HarperCollins, September 2000) was a Main Selection of the Literary Guild, a selection of the Book of the Month Club, and was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. The Associate was published by HarperCollins in August 2001, and Ties that Bind was published by HarperCollins in March 2003. My tenth novel, Sleeping Beauty, was published by HarperCollins on March 23, 2004. Lost Lake was published by HarperCollins in March 2005 and was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Proof Positive was published by HarperCollins in July 2006. Executive Privilege was published by HarperCollins in May 2008 and in 2009 was given the Spotted Owl Award for the Best Northwest Mystery. Fugitive was published by HarperCollins on June 2, 2009. Willamette Writers gave me the 2009 Distinguished Northwest Writers Award. My latest novel, Supreme Justice, was published by HarperCollins in May 2010. My next novel, Capitol Murder, will come out in April 2012.

On October 11, 2011, HarperCollins will publish Vanishing Acts, my first Young Adult novel, which I wrote with my daughter, Ami Margolin Rome. Also in October, the short story "The Case of the Purloined Paget," which I wrote with my brother, Jerry, will be published by Random House in the anthology A Study in Sherlock.

In addition to my novels, I have published short stories and nonfiction articles in magazines and law journals. My short story "The Jailhouse Lawyer" was selected for the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 1999. The House on Pine Terrace was selected for the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 2010.

From 1996 to 2009 I was the president and chairman of the Board of Chess for Success. I am still heavily involved in the program, and returned to the board after a one-year absence in 2010. Chess for Success is a nonprofit charity that uses chess to teach study skills to elementary- and middle-school children in Title I schools . From 2007 to the present, I have been on the Board of Literary Arts, which sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, the Writers in the Schools program, and Portland Arts and Lectures.

Customer Reviews

This is the first Phillip Margolin book I have read in awhile.
Michael DENNISUK
There are at times too many side plots together at first to get a handle on the story, but the author pieces it all together at the end.
guitarchick24
So many twists and turns keeps it very interesting through to the end.
ITZME

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read Margolin's previous Executive Privilege and really enjoyed it. This is a good, solid engaging legal thriller, but, for me, didn't live up to the prior one.

Short summary: Brad Miller is back from Executive Privilege where he helped crack the case that brought the former President down. Now, he's working for a Supreme Court Justice - and a case emerges that it appears someone is going to great lengths to prevent the Supreme Court from allowing it to be re-examined. Who is doing that and why?

Here's the ups and downs of it to me:

- Though able to be read as a stand alone, it'll be harder to enjoy that way, since references from the previous book kept getting made about the various characters. I found it distracting, and don't think they're terribly helpful to the new Margolin reader.

- It is well-plotted, so all the pieces get wrapped up nicely, and there's a few twists. But, I didn't find it as page-turning as some thrillers can be.

Bottom-line: It's as good as a lot of the average Turow or Grishams works, and if you like them, you'll probably like this one. But, I would really recommend Executive Privilege before and over this one.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At the heart of this highly plot-driven book is the petition before the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari by a woman on death row in Oregon convicted of murdering her lover. Stemming from the heart is a series of side stories that go back and forth in time involving Supreme Court Justices, their law clerks, the FBI, DAs, a female private detective and a former head of the CIA. In its favor, Supreme Justice is a fast-paced, entertaining book that adequately satisfies your craving for a brief diversion from life's daily realities. Margolin does a pretty good job in tying the main plot and all of its side stories into a decent, though partially predictable, conclusion. It is an ideal read for a plane ride or a trip to the beach. However, in my opinion, due to Margolin's somewhat shallow characters that are, at best, serviceable, and to some of the mulitple story lines being a bit contrived, Supreme Justice is not a book that will provide readers with a full, rich sense of satisfaction that will stay with them for a while after they've finished it. For me, reading Supreme Justice was like drinking a light beer, in that it served to quench my thirst for the moment, but it did not leave me feeling sated like a more full-bodied beer does. Nor did it make me feel the need for another "Margolin" anytime soon.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rad63 on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Supreme Justice" is a readable book, but is not an unforgettable book. It starts out with an exciting first chapter leading one to expect a taut political or espionage thriller. The book then skips around and introduces new characters including lawyers, Supreme Court Justices, DAs, private detectives, law clerks, etc. It skips around in time and space. The first chapter character later reappears. There is a female cop, Sarah, who is indicted for murdering her lover, the man in the first chapter, and is up for the death penalty. Her case is dismissed because the man turned up alive. Then he dies and she is indicted again. In addition a government agency with black suvs and contract killers has made the first chapter incident "disappear" and one of the Supremes and another powerful lawyer want to keep it disappeared. There is an attempt on the life of another of the Supremes. Eventually everything ties together and some disposition is seen of all of the characters except for one real bad guy assassin who is in the wind.

Read it on the airplane or while waiting to see your doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Via the Amazon Vine review program, I was able to get an advanced reader copy of Phillip Margolin's latest novel, Supreme Justice: A Novel of Suspense. Overall, this is an enjoyable read, good for a few hours of suspense and escape. It didn't grab me quite as hard as many of his earlier works, and that might be due to the length of time since I read the last Margolin novel. He carries over a number of the characters, and I was hazy on the backstories. Even so, I enjoyed the read and the character issue wasn't that big of a deal.

There are a number of plots and subplots going on in Supreme Justice that all merge and get tied together at the end. There's a ghost ship docked in a small Oregon town that mysteriously disappears courtesy of the US government when local police try to investigate a mass killing on board. Apparently only a single person survived the killings, and now he's also been murdered. A Supreme Court Justice is lobbied hard to reject a plea to reopen the case where Sarah Woodruff was convicted of his murder, but her refusal to roll over leads to an attempt on her life. A surprise resignation on the bench leaves an opening that a former head of the CIA wants to have filled with a hand-picked (and likely in-his-pocket) choice. It seems as if everyone wants to keep Sarah Woodruff on death row for fear of what a new trial might bring to light...

My haziness on the main characters made the motivations somewhat hard to follow. As such, I had to just go with the story and let it unfold without trying to analyze why certain things might be happening. There were some decent twists at the end, and you had to re-examine a lot of what had come before based on what new information came to light. Supreme Justice was a nice way to spend a few hours without feeling like I had to keep reading to find out what happened next...

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Obtained From: Amazon Vine Review Program
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